Heathcote to start for Scotland

4 June 2013

Congratulations to Bath Rugby fly-half Tom Heathcote, who will make his first start for Scotland on Saturday against Samoa.

Heathcote, at 21 years of age, is a very exciting prospect and has, with performances full of attacking flair and excellent reliability from the kicking tee, already made himself a favourite with the Rec faithful.

There are three new caps in the team for the game in Durban, with Edinburgh Rugby full-back Greig Tonks and the Glasgow Warriors duo, centre Alex Dunbar and hooker Pat MacArthur all making their first appearances.

In addition there are a further three uncapped players on the bench, Stevie Lawrie, Peter Horne and Duncan Taylor, while Heathcote is one of two players who have just one cap so far, with Grant Gilchrist of Edinburgh named at lock.

In an interview with Scotland head coach Scott Johnson said: "We want to broaden the base and it (selection) gives us the perfect opportunity to see how these guys stand up in Test footy."

Johnson ranked Scotland's win in Samoa last year as a tremendous achievement and expects a fierce encounter this weekend.

"They have all the artillery coming for our game and we're going out to compete on all fronts," he said.  "We have 25 Test matches available to us prior to the World Cup. I've said regularly that we're not going to give Test jerseys away but we cannot be exposed to injury issues (come RWC) and the best way to prevent that is to give players opportunities."

Scotland team to play Samoa in the Castle Lager Test Series at King's Park, Durban on Saturday 8 June, kick-off 2.15pm local time (1.15pm BST)

15 Greig Tonks (Edinburgh Rugby) uncapped

14 Sean Lamont (Glasgow Warriors) 76 caps, 9 tries, 45 points

13 Alex Dunbar (Glasgow Warriors) uncapped

12 Matt Scott (Edinburgh Rugby) 12 caps, 1 try, 5 points

11 Tim Visser (Edinburgh Rugby) 10 caps, 6 tries, 30 points

10 Tom Heathcote (Bath Rugby) 1 cap

9 Greig Laidlaw (Edinburgh Rugby) 18 caps, 2 tries, 16 conversions, 39 penalties, 159 points

1 Ryan Grant (Glasgow Warriors) 10 caps

2 Pat MacArthur (Glasgow Warriors) uncapped

3 Euan Murray (Worcester Warriors) 53 caps, 2 tries, 10 points

4 Grant Gilchrist (Edinburgh Rugby) 1 cap

5 Alastair Kellock (Glasgow Warriors) 52 caps, 1 try, 5 points

6 Alasdair Strokosch (Perpignan) 32 caps, 1 try, 5 points

7 Kelly Brown (Saracens) CAPTAIN 57 caps, 4 tries, 20 points

8 Johnnie Beattie (Montpellier) 21 caps, 3 tries, 15 points


16 Stevie Lawrie (Edinburgh Rugby) uncapped

17 Alasdair Dickinson (Sale Sharks) 24 caps, 1 try, 5 points

18 Geoff Cross (Edinburgh Rugby) 21 caps, 1 try, 5 points

19 Jim Hamilton (Gloucester) 46 caps, 1 try, 5 points

20 Ryan Wilson (Glasgow Warriors) 2 caps

21 Henry Pyrgos (Glasgow Warriors) 6 caps, 1 try, 5 points

22 Peter Horne (Glasgow Warriors) uncapped

23 Duncan Taylor (Saracens) uncapped

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